Chapter 11: A Rollercoaster going downhill
On Monday, Mike didn’t feel like going to school. He told his mother he wasn’t feeling well but after she took his temperature, she knew that something else was up with Mike.
“You’ve just got testaphobia,” she said.
“More like girlaphobia,” Mike muttered to himself.
“Nothing. Mom, I don’t have a test.”
“Well, whatever it is, you’ll get over it.”
Mike’s third period was English and right when Ms. Rond began writing examples of similes on the board, Cindy asked Mike, “Do you like Antonio’s Pizza Parlour?” She was hoping that Mike’s answer would say “no”, so she could tell Sarah that she tried. Of course, she knew that Sarah would just tell her that she should have found a place he did like. There was no way out of this situation unless Mike didn’t like her and she believed she already knew that answer.
“Yeah, I like Antonio’s Pizza Parlour. Ian and I used to go there all the time.”
“Oh. Would you want to go with me tonight?” Please say no.
“But wait, don’t you tutor me tonight?”
Yes. I don’t need to go on a date with him—but wait, won’t that hurt his feelings? Cindy knew that she couldn’t dismiss Mike; she had to make an effort and if there were any boundaries she had to overcome them, or at least try. Mike would have the last word, but she still had to play her part.
“We could skip tutoring tonight, so we could go at seven o’clock?” Though, Cindy still hoped that Mike might realize that tutoring was important and still say no.
“O.K.,” said Mike looking much brighter. “And what’s also great is my parents aren’t coming home ’til nine o’clock.”
“Great,” said Cindy, trying to sound cheerful. Shit!
When Cindy arrived home she couldn’t believe what she’d done. She felt that Mike was nice and cute, but she wasn’t ready to go out with him. She needed more time to get to know him. It might take a few months before she finally decided she liked him or maybe to know she didn’t. But this had happened over a day. She had been irrational; her affectionate heart had taken over her mouth. But if she hadn’t said anything, Mike would have never known. Why did she have to open her big mouth? She thought she could call Mike and cancel the whole thing, but she knew that’d never work because she couldn’t hurt Mike in that way. Now her heart was taking over her brain. She signed in on M.S.N. Messenger hoping that Sarah was online because they needed to talk. In a few minutes, she noticed a little box appear above her Messenger icon that read,
Sarah (L) has just signed in
Cindy opened up the chat box and typed,
Hey, Sarah typed back.
We need to talk
How u set me up with Mike
How could she not know that Cindy had asked Mike on a date? Then she remembered Sarah was not in her class; Amanda and Rebecca were. But she thought that Amanda would have at least told her.
I asked Mike on a date
Did he reject you? No
Then why’d you say, we have to talk???
Well, I don’t think I’m ready to go on a date with him
Sure you are
Sarah, I’ve liked a bunch of people, but before I’ve told them I like them, they’re already going out with someone else. And I’ve tried to get a bf but I’m always too late
Well I know u’ve never had a bf. I think you should go out with Mike and… doesn’t he like you?
O.K. so then I would go out with him and then you will find out
Then Cindy signed offline.
At seven o’clock in the evening, Cindy was waiting at Antonio’s Pizza Parlour. Maybe he won’t show up and than I won’t have to go through this. At seven-o-one P.M., Mike showed up looking as happy as ever.
Yes, he thought to himself. I’m going on a date with Cindy; this must mean she likes me! Maybe she’ll ask me on more dates and more dates and then before you know it I won’t be the loser of the school anymore!
Mike was getting a little carried away with this dating idea. When the two of them sat down, Cindy began the conversation.
“So, um…what kind of pizza do you like?” That was stupid, she thought.
“Pepperoni,” was Mike’s reply.
When the waiter came to their table, Cindy and Mike ordered pepperoni pizza.
“I’ll pay,” Mike offered.
“O.K.,” said Cindy again. She felt that he should pay for the pizza anyway.
While they were waiting for their pizza, Cindy asked curiously, “Does Bradley still bully you?”
“Yeah,” said Mike as he poured himself a glass of water from the pitcher the waiter had given them. He was trying to distract himself from the question. “Why?”
“Oh, no reason. It’s just that I rejected Bradley a few days ago.”
“Oh,” said Mike trying to sound shocked.
“If he keeps bothering you uh…tell me.”
She felt that no one should be bullied by a jerk like him. But Mike took what Cindy said a bit differently.
She must really like me if she wants to stand up for me. “Thanks.”
“You’re welcome.” They ate their pizza in silence.
Ian was resting on the couch when he heard a knock at the door. The knocker banged loudly three times before he groggily answered it.
“Hello?” he yawned, rubbing his eyes. But the person standing in the doorway made him blink three times. Standing in the doorway was a baby blue-eyed red haired girl, Cloi Reynolds.
“Cloi, what are you doing here? How did you find me?”
“One of my friends told me you had come back and they knew where you lived.”
Cloi was wearing a purple dress with white sandals. Her combed red hair gleamed with sparkles that glittered everywhere.
“What’s with the outfit?”
“I was wondering if you’d like to go see a movie.”
“Uh…sure. Which movie?”
“How about Love Should Be Peace Not War?”
Ian felt an incoming of déjà vu. “Sure,” he shrugged.
“Oh, good, ’cause it starts in a few minutes.”
“Cloi, you invited me to a movie that starts in a few minutes?”
Ian felt that he wasn’t exactly elegantly dressed for a night out with Cloi. A creased white shirt and old jeans weren’t exactly what he would call “presentable”.
“Yeah, sorry, we really have to go.” She grabbed Ian by the arm as he quickly stuffed his sock feet into his blue Adidas sneakers and pulled him down the steps. He closed the door behind him with his free hand. Thankfully, his parents were home so he didn’t have to lock it.
After they had bought tickets for the movie, there was a long line up at the ticket booth. With their tickets in hand, they had to stand and wait in another line to pay for their drinks and popcorn. By the time they got to the movie they had already missed ten minutes.
“Sorry, about that,” Ian apologized when they had sat down.
“It’s not your fault,” said Cloi as she leaned in to kiss him on the cheek. Ian decided that this night had only one hint of déjà vu because Mike had never kissed Cindy when she was close to him. As the film was nearing its climax, Ian popped some popcorn into Cloi’s mouth and Cloi did the same for him. Nearing the end of the movie Cloi placed her lips on Ian’s, which he didn’t expect. Soon, tongues were wrapped around each other and all Ian paid attention to was the strawberry lip gloss he tasted off of Cloi’s lips. When the credits started rolling they were still pasted together.
“Ah, young love,” said one man as he passed them on his way out of the theatre. As the lights turned on, Ian suddenly realized that the movie was over and that people were now staring at him and his girlfriend, some with grins on their faces. He didn’t want these creeps watching him so he tried to pull away from Cloi by sweet-talking to her.
“Ah, bavy tha mvie’s over,” he said trying to move away from her lips.
Cloi soon realized that Ian was trying to say something so she moved away. “What?” she asked.
“I said, ‘the movie’s over.’”
“Oh,” said Cloi as she turned her head to see the rolling credits and the staring faces. “Then let’s get out of here.”